Melbourne’s own roots/rock aficionado Hamish Anderson is gearing up for a massive 2019, with the release of his latest single Breaking Down, a gritty, threatening rock track that must be listened to with the volume knob fully cranked, out now. Breaking Down is an early taste of the upcoming album from Hamish, entitled Out Of My Head; an eclectic and exciting collection of songs from this young artist who has already blown the world away with his talent, out May 2019. Hamish will play his first Australian shows since 2017 alongside the one and only Gary Clark Jr. as main support, kicking off in Sydney at the Enmore Theatre on April 18, then moving through Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, and wrapping up at the Perth Concert Hall on April 27.
On Breaking Down, it’s pretty easy to see why Total Guitar named Hamish Anderson one of their Top 10 Best New Guitarists in 2018 – like a bull at a gate, chugging guitars provide an irresistibly catchy bed for some ripper riffs the track progresses. This track is overflowing with pent-up frustration and undeniable passion, and it’s a mouth-watering concoction for some killer classic Americana-rock, as Hamish explains, “Breaking Down definitely explores the more rock and roll side of my music. I was sitting around one day playing guitar and suddenly just started playing the riff, all the lyrics came basically at once so it was written very quickly. I’d had an argument earlier that week with someone I know so I think some of that definitely crept into its inspiration. I just wanted to turn the volume all the way up and get out everything that was on my mind.”
While Breaking Down is a superb example of rollicking rock, it is just one of many genres that Hamish dips his toes into on the new album Out Of My Head. Americana, soul, pop, roots, blues, rock; that’s a lot of ground to cover, but Hamish does it with a natural ease that’s far beyond his years. The mellow (What You Do To Me, Damaged Goods) and the upbeat (No Good, You Give Me Something) tracks on this record sit comfortably next to each other; all buoyed by a knack for clever, hook-driven songwriting and a clear, burning passion that drives the music from the first strum to the last. Hamish enthuses, “I really wanted to take my time and write as many songs as I could for this album. I wasn’t writing to a specific genre or sound, rather I let the songs reveal what they wanted to be… The album explore themes of alienation and defiance, mixed with unabashed love songs and even observations on what’s happening in the world around us. Certain songs had themes that I hadn’t explored in my writing previously. I feel I really went a lot deeper in the writing of these songs then I had ever done before. Most are universal feelings that I feel people can relate to. Once again, I got very lucky to work with a really great, talented group of people on Out Of My Head including producer Jim Scott (Tom Petty, Tedeschi Trucks, Wilco) who I had worked with on my debut album Trouble. Jim is an incredible producer/engineer and we work in a very similar way — it’s always an amazing experience working with him.”
Anyone who presses play on Breaking Down will no doubt understand that this is the kind of music that is made to be played live to a pulsing, enthusiastic crowd. Hamish is thrilled to be hitting the road with the legendary Gary Clark Jr., as he gives fans a taste of what to expect, “I’ve been working so much in the US for the past four years that to be coming home to play – and especially these particular shows supporting Gary Clark Jr (who i’m a massive fan of) — is truly huge for me. Regarding the live shows, people can expect a mixture of blues, rock and roll and soul. I’m playing as a trio at the moment so it allows us to get down to the meat and potatoes of the songs, rock and roll with no frills. I’ve played so many different type of gigs over the past four years that as a performer I think I’ve become more confident, focused and I’m just having a lot of fun with it.”